Be Not Afraid

Be not afraid

“Be not afraid, I go before you always, come follow me…..”

I heard these wise words today as I sat in church and they really stuck me as powerful words. These were words to live by!

You see one of the most difficult items on my Bucket List is to conquer my fears. Up until recently I really did not even know what I feared the most so it was impossible to face those fears and actually conquer them. I think I figured out at least one of my greatest fears and it kind of surprised me. You see with all my recent introspective thinking I realized I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone and grow as a person. I started to write down what I wanted to do and then I started to figure out how to actually do some of it. As this process occurred I realized what I was not afraid of and it too was an interesting discovery.

I can say that I am not afraid of heights; I jumped out of a plane and was more scared to sit on a strange man’s lap than to actually chuck myself out of the plane. I also went rock climbing and had a flying lesson and was not in the least bit scared. Cool! Good to know!

I was able to write about all of these activities and then share that writing with others and that was when the scary alarms started going off. It was not so much that someone would not like what I was writing about that scared me, I think it had to do more with whether or not my writing was any good that had me pretty nervous. I took this opportunity for growth one baby step at a time, I shared my writing first with close friends, then with family and I gradually got to the point that I could share it with most of my friends and family and not break out in hives. I was making progress!

It was when I was faced with the decision of what to do with all this writing that I really freaked out. Now I had a real dilemma. I had been writing for several months, had shared my writings with a couple dozen people and had received very positive feedback so far. I really would love for my writing to someday be a book but I quickly decided I had a catch 22 going on here. I was scared to put my work out there to the wide world but the only way to see if what I was writing was of any interest to others was to just do it. The only way to know if others could relate to what I was writing about was to do the thing that most scared me- put it out there and share it with people.

I described this to close friends as “jumping off the cliff” I knew that once I put my writing out on the internet I would no longer have any control over where this thing went. I would be along for the ride. Maybe the ride wouldn’t go anywhere, which was one fear. Maybe it would really catch on and someday become a book and my life would no longer be very private. That sounded scary too. Maybe something in the middle would happen, maybe a little scary but not terrifying. The only way to know was to put it on my website, make the site public, and then start sharing it with everyone I know. Now you are talking terrifying!

Why this was so scary for me I don’t know. It’s not like I think everyone has to love it. I think the problem lies in the fact that I am being really honest and open in my stories and that makes me feel very vulnerable. Unfortunately, I think that is what makes it relatable to others. There was no way to write and be ‘hidden” in my words. I had to either keep it to myself and then I would never know “what if”or I could jump off the cliff and see what happened.

For several months I took baby steps. For several months I thought about it. For several months I asked trusted friends and family what they thought. For several months I prayed about it. Finally I decided for myself. The words “be not afraid I go before you always” rang in my ears.

I jumped off the cliff. That is why you are reading this today.

I can’t really say I will never fear again. I still break out in a cold sweat if I think about it too much. I have made a couple “OMG what have I done” phone calls when my anxiety got the best of me. But I can say I did it. I had the courage to try a bunch of new things. I had the courage to try to relate what I was doing to my life, my present and my past. I had the courage to try to make some connections and learn something about myself. I had the courage to write about these things and then I jumped off the cliff and shared this with you. I think I can cross conquer my fear off my list. I can say I grew in the process, my faith grew, and I grew.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

What do you think my friend, should I keep following my heart?

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Comments

  1. Bucketlistblogger says:

    Why, thank you cialis! I feel so far out of my comfort zone here but something is calling me to do this and to be brave enough to share it. I am honored that you are moved by what I am doing. You have no idea how much your comment made my day! Thank you! Please feel free to share your comments and friend me on the Bucketlistblogger Face page where you can post pictures and stories of your own bucket list adventures.

  2. Aren’t comfort zones strange things? Just when we cozy where we’re at God decides to pull out and stretch our wings again. My comfort zone began to get stretched when Larry got sick, I had to actually talk to people… doctors, technicians, receptionists,…. make sure that treatment schedules weren’t conflicting, keep track of medications. Then I began speaking in front of the congregation at church, asking for prayer, giving updates on Larry’s condition. Then I had to scrape up what was left of my German to take him to Germany for alternative treatments. After he died, just to make sure I wasn’t getting comfy yet, God pushed me beyond my biggest fear… and pushed me to take 2 courses in public speaking.

    Comfort zone…. what comfort zone?

  3. Kim Hassel says:

    I am so proud of you! I love your writings, your courage, and your sense of humor. I can’t wait to go Dog sledding with you.

    • Bucketlistblogger says:

      Thanks for your encouragement and support! I can’t wait to go dog sledding, it is going to be amazing. Have you changed you mind yet about the ice climbing adventure?